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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lykke Li + Laura Marling. They Ended Up Sharing This Post. Equally.

It's been far too long since my last post. I thought i'd make a return on the subject of some of the female vocalists/singer songwriters i've been deeply into recently. Firstly, Swedish indie pop doesn't come in a much better form than Lykke Li. Her album Youth Novels (2008) was produced by Bjorn Yttling from Peter Bjorn and John and released in June in the UK last year. She mixes soul, indie folk and swedish pop together with ecletic results. Subtle drumming and creeping synthesizers behind sleek, raw sounding vocals and folk influenced piano and brass lines make for a very unique sounding approach to contemporary pop music. This is an album which retains enough musical, personal and lyrical depth to gain respect, without sacrificing in any way the catchiness of swedish pop music. Youth Novels is a musical journal of relaxed, folk-induced synthpop.

Laura Marling is more of the folk and less of the pop. The Reading based 19 year old produces intelligent folk music in fitting with the London folk scene comprising of similar sounds to Florence & The Machine and Emmy The Great. Her sound doesn't venture too far from a female version of emerging bluegrass band Mumford & Sons. The songs are varied but share a common atmosphere of urgency, emotion and sudden, abrupt, helpless endings. The album is soul searching and has an aged depth of a singer vastly beyond the age of Marling.
'Alas, I Cannot Swim' is in no way similar to her featuring collaboration on Noah and The Whale's 'Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down'. The latter is just about all the unashamed bliss Marling has released. Her solo effort is far more introvertive, pessimistic and elaborate than the London four piece collaboration. Songs like 'Hours' with their intensely emotional 3 minute build ups beg to be placed on repeat (despite my usual policy), as does the song 'Captain and Hourglass'.
Parts of the recording of Marling's acoustic guitars is not far from that of Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, with whom she has already toured with last year.

Laura Marling - Ghosts (mp3)
'Alas, I Cannot Swim' (Amazon)

Lykke Li - Little Bit (mp3)
'Youth Novels' (Amazon)

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